Previous Features

From issue 240 - June 2017

Memphis Lee & The Creepers
The Pitstop, Bedworth - Saturday, 22nd April 2017
By Maggie Sampford, Coventry

I was really looking forward to the dance tonight as it's not often we get a completely new band at the Pitstop. And one I've never seen before. Plus the fact I'd heard great comments about them from a variety of different people. It did cross my mind though with a name like 'Creepers' would they be seasoned, more mature musicians in oversized drape suits and three inch brothel creepers creeping round the stage! Interesting isn't it - the images a name can conjure up!

Well, I'm pleased to say, they were none of that! A five piece youngish band and pretty much all old school mates. I was introduced to frontman Lee by organiser Brian early in the evening and had a lovely long chat with him. He's a really nice approachable chatty guy and told me a funny story about an earlier guitarist mate who'd left the band to run his vegan pie shop in London. "I've never known anyone give up Rock 'n' Roll in favour of a vegan pie shop!" he said.

I also had a good chat with Cadillac Caz, DJ Cadillac Dave's wife who always accompanies him on gigs and sometimes brings their grandchildren along too as they did tonight. I only know that 'cos Dave got his granddaughter to pick the first raffle ticket later on. Dave always has a large video screen on which he plays Rockin' video clips along with his music which is nice to watch when you're not dancing. I've known Dave & Caz for many years so it's always good to have a catch-up when Dave plays the Pitstop.

Now onto the night. I wondered whether there'd be many there with it being a new band to the club and the fact that the Skeggie weekend was also on but there was a good turn-out. It seems organiser Brian made the right decision to run monthly instead of fortnightly when booking the gigs for this year as every gig this year so far has had a good attendance. 9pm and the band appeared on stage. I'd like to say they 'crept' on stage but they didn't. The lights came up and there they were, a smart, young very presentable five piece from South Wales. They kicked off with a steady 'Break Up' and the first thing I noticed was singer Lee's very distinctive voice. Raunchy, gravelly - ideal for Rock 'n' Roll. They continued with 'Red Hot Mama' and a very good interpretation of 'Northside Gal'. Lee's voice really suited this song and I loved it. Onto the strollers then with an easy going Eddie Cochran number, 'My Way' and some great wailing harmonica from keyboard player Billy. Then that lovely Elvis track, 'Baby What Do You Want Me To Do'.

The floor was busy as everything they played was eminently danceable and DJ Cadillac complemented them well with his choices between the band sets. Back to the jivers then with 'Matchbox' - although not the extended version, 'Boogie Woogie Country Girl', 'Long Gone Daddy', 'Sweet Suzie', 'Lovin' Machine', 'Big Hunk Of Love' and to end the first set, 'Johnny B Goode'. Over to Cadillac then for the next half hour whilst the band took their break and the raffle was called. No prizes for us this time. He played a good set of pretty much continuous jivers and the floor remained busy throughout.

The band returned about 10.15pm simply appearing once again on stage - but still not creeping and opened their second set with a lively 'Rip It Up'. They continued with a nice steady 'Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie' then 'Please Mama Please' minus the intro. Stroller time then with another popular Eddie Cochran number, 'Teenage Heaven' followed by 'C.C. Rider' with lovely harmonica intro. Then a change of vocalist on the next number with lead guitarist Rob Davies doing the honours on 'Rockin' Daddy'. He had a pleasant clear voice and certainly did the number justice. I think it would be good to hear him singing a few more numbers in contrast to Lee's more raunchy sound.

They try to keep their show as entertaining as possible by including new tracks at each gig which is different to many bands on the circuit. Memphis Lee & The Creepers they might be called but there's absolutely nothing creepy about these guys. They're Ace! But one thing I will say, like the creeping Clematis and Wisteria I've been recently planting in my garden, they've crept up on me and now I'm well and truly hooked!

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